What do Troy Polamalu, Maria Sharapova, and Kobe Bryant all have in common, aside from their sizable paychecks? Give up...? OK, they are all athletes who have used a treatment called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy to recover from a range of injuries. This month I am going to highlight PRP therapy and describe exactly what it is and which injuries can be treated with it.

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy falls under a class of treatments called orthobiologics, which are substances naturally found in the body used to treat orthopedic injuries and conditions in bones, muscles and joints. This is an area of great interest to me and is what many medical professionals consider the “future of medicine.” Specifically, PRP uses the patient’s OWN BLOOD to separate the platelets (which are full of highly valuable healing proteins) and then carefully apply this concentrated dose of powerful plasma directly onto the injured area. Often times we will also perform a bone marrow aspiration and combine that platelet-filled material with the blood draw. Both of these are spun in a centrifuge into the usable plasma which is injected into the affected area. There is no incision or major intervention – simply a small injection into the affected soft tissue.

Blood has amazing and well-documented healing properties and serves as a natural anti-inflammatory and a natural painkiller. This is the very reason athletes are encouraged to increase blood flow to wounded or post-surgical areas, because BLOOD HEALS! PRP uses the body’s own mechanics to decrease pain and heal an injury much more quickly by exposing the injured tissue to the supercharged plasma.

Now you can see why high-profile athletes are so interested in PRP therapy – faster recovery, less pain, and using the body’s own material! In my practice I treat patients of all types with PRP for a wide-ranging variety of conditions such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sprains and strains, ACL and meniscus tears, rotator cuff tears, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and other ligament and tendon inflammations.

Certain insurance plans will cover this procedure and many will not, so I also have very reasonable cash-pay offerings available in case your individual plan does not cover this treatment. Please call our office today and make an appointment to discuss PRP therapy and how it can get you moving PAIN FREE once again.

Trading your pain for action with cutting-edge healthcare,

Dr. Chad Stephens, D.O.

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